This query about clocked cars and fraudulent MOTs came through my website, which is a gem as it mirrors my personal experience and shines a spotlight on your consumer rights.



“I bought a second hand Chrysler 300 (registration) last year April 2016 from (garage) in Cheltenham (now new address in Gloucester) with MOT – no advisories.

I have only done 4,000 miles approx. to point of having 2017 MOT only for it to fail badly. Suspension arms, hand-brake and other faults, with advisories one of which was badly rusting underneath car (failed MOT again at ATS Gloucester).

Looking at MOT history of 4 March 2016 (fail) 61,562 miles then 10th March 2016 (pass) 53,882 miles – looks like a mistake or clocking.

ATS Gloucester failed it. They tried to get it passed but gave up (plenty of details if required).

Took car to RSM in Malvern after buying hand-brake shoes new handbrake cable and many hours labour to gain right percentage on brake tester – it passed today.

Me and both garages conclude that all these faults did not happen over a year and that they (garage / retailer) did not check anything and the MOT given me at time of buying car as very suspicious.

This has cost me approx. £700. Advice would be very welcome”.


“Hello Robin,

Thank you for your email and I hope you have enjoyed browsing around on my website (and maybe read my book!).

Interestingly enough, my experience with (garage / retailer) in Edinburgh inspired me to write about my experiences.

I was sold a car with a clean MOT that turned out to be fraudulent, the car wasn’t checked over and to cut a long story short I secured a full refund after it broke down and was beyond repair within 5 weeks.

This would be a hard one to crack but certainly not impossible. You will be struggling with the Consumer Rights Act 2015 now, given the length of time that has elapsed between the date of purchase and where you are now. 

However, I’d be looking at The Misrepresentation Act 1967 as I believe that you have a solid case there that would stand up in Court. The onus is on (garage / retailer) to prove that a fraudulent misrepresentation did not take place, and not for you to prove that it did (although you obviously need to have a solid case prepared).

You need to get all of your ducks in a row by way of all of the MOT certificates (you can get the history of any car’s MOTs online);

I would also be seeking an independent report to check to see if the car has indeed been clocked and to get the evidence you require to support the MOT history and secure a successful outcome in Court”.


Clocked cars is a problem that has existed since time began and will never disappear for good. However, it’s fairly easy nowadays to create a paper trail to evidence any errors, omissions and blatant fraud.

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 covers you for up to 6 years in England and Wales and 5 years in Scotland, although the onus is on the consumer to prove that the vehicle does not meet the criteria after 6 months.

This is where the Misrepresentation Act 1967 kicks in, which puts the onus on the retailer to prove that a misrepresentation did not take place at the point of sale. This is referred to as the reverse burden of proof, which is an integral part of consumer legislation and reinforces your consumer rights.

You need to be restored to your original position before you entered into the contract if you are faced with the same issues.

Have you had to deal with clocked cars and fraudulent MOTs? If so, how did you resolve it?

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